I've been playing around with my BeagleBone Black quite a bit recently.  It all started with one of my coworkers bringing in a rain gauge that we had collecting dust somewhere in an office storage room.  I had been installing software to the BBB and ran out of space on the eMMC (internal memory) chip.  So I tried to boot from an SD Card - the one I updated the BBB to the latest software with and still loaded with the image.  It appeared to me that it maybe had been reloading the eMMC, but I couldn't tell for sure.  After around a half hour, I power-cycled the BBB.  Bad news, it wouldn't boot.  I don't have the correct HDMI cable, and I'm at work, so my resources are pretty limited.

Enter the FTDI port on the BBB.  Enter the fact that I don't have an FTDI cable at the office.  D'oh!

But I have a few Arduino Unos.

I wondered, and then quickly looked on the Internet to find a page on Instructables that describes how to use an Arduino as an FTDI programmer.  I then looked at a reference for the pinouts.  A page at Circuitco has the pinouts that seemed like they'd work - ground, RX, and TX.    I hooked them up and...


It gets a little bit more MacGyver-ish.  I have only a small box of jumper wires at the office, a few shield headers, and a breadboard...

Overview of setup showing Ardunio, BBB, and the breadboard.

This is an overview of the setup. The Arduino RX, TX, and Ground are connected to a breadboard that has a shield header that connects to the BBB's FTDI port.

BBB connected to header connected to breadboard

This is the connection between the breadboard and the BBB.



Category: Computers

About the Author

Andrew is the owner of this blog and enjoys computer programming, building things, and photography. He's a pretty busy guy, which explains why updates to this blog are so infrequent.

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